Thursday, 30 August 2012

Monogram Pincushion Tutorial!


I first made one of these pretties, oh... maybe 2 years ago, I was working in a gorgeous little quilt shop, and was asked to do a workshop for an open day we were having... it was my first 'grown-up' workshop ( previous to this I had only tutored kids!). They come in handy for presents or for pretty-ing up your own desk/ craft area, for using up the last scrap of your fave fabric or the precious button that you've been hoarding. They are also great to teach the youngins'.

Wanna know how to make one? Click the pics to see larger :)

Choose two co-ordinating fabrics, the two that I picked are leftovers from a charm pack by Urban Chicks', 'Hullabaloo' range. You don't need charm squares though, just cut two 5" squares. 
I sketched directly onto my fabric with a water soluble marker, they are so handy, but if you don't have one a pencil will do, just draw really lightly! If you are using a dark fabric then chalk or a light dressmakers pencil will do the trick! If you need inspiration for your monogram, check out The Daily Drop Cap or a monogram generator site like this one.
So an embroidery hoop is not a necessity, but it really helps avoid puckering by keeping good tension on your fabric. Here, I have just used a simple back-stitch in a charcoal coloured floss, but you could use virtually any stitch. Here is one of my favourite embroidery sites, tons of tutorials! Sarah's Hand Embroidery Tutorials .
See where I have marked where to start and finish? It's a really good idea not to leave your 'turning gap' on a corner, it helps keep a good shape and it's much easier and neater to close. Also leave a small gap of maybe 1.5".... a huge big opening makes it harder and longer to close up!
A small running stitch is sufficient enough to sew around the edges, every few inches take a little back stitch for added security

Make the ladder stitch your best friend! It is absolutely worth it to take the time to learn it if you haven't done it before, it is invaluable! It is the neatest way to close up openings, I use it on all my dolls. Here is a great tutorial. (sometimes it's called the hidden stitch!)

Use a nice long needle and two or three strands of embroidery floss (we are gonna be pulling so we need strong thread) Find your centre and pass the needle straight down, 'pop' your knot inside, make a few passes up and down until the 'pinched in' area is secure. Click the pics to see close up.
All that's left is to add your button or buttons if you are adding one underneath too. Don't cut the thread you used to 'pinch' and simply thread though your buttons once or twice pulling taught as you go, knot your thread and pop it inside!
 And you're done!
Phew! My first tutorial, done and dusted!! I hope you enjoyed it...Stay tuned, I have a few more up my sleeve including an exclusive 'Lou Loves This' pattern (though to be honest that may take me a few weeks lol)If you make one of these babies, send me a photo, I'd love to see ;)
By the way, you wanna know what song repeatedly popped unbidden into my head whilst working on this post? 'Step by Step.... ohhh baby... gonna get to you girrrrrrl' New Kids On The Block.... yeah, I just went there! lol.


Monday, 27 August 2012

Pippa says thanks...

So, I haven't been blogging for very long, in fact five weeks to the very day! In those five short weeks I have met so many lovely, sweet people and so many exciting things have happened! As a follower of the online craft community for many years, I already knew how warm, welcoming and inclusive it was, but to experience this first hand is something quite special.

Blogging and selling my wares has has been a dream of mine for a very long time, but I never did it.... this year has been somewhat of a life changer for me, which I may tell you all about sometime soon ;), and I think that this is the very thing that spurred me on.... to embrace that little dream of mine....

Which is why it means so much that someone would take the time to comment, to follow, to feature, or to give a nod or a shout out. This girl is grateful.... so....Thank you. :)

Pippa wanted to say thanks too....

She is clad entirely in mint green and poppy red, embroidered shoes, a cute little pocket on her apple print skirt (to keep all her essentials in!), floaty, lacy sleeves and a peter-pan collar.

She is quite particular about her hair, she wears it swooped into a fashionable side bun with an adorable tiny little red bow!

Pippa is available in my Etsy Shop .... have a look see!

Until next time! I have lots of exciting things happening over the next few months that I would LOVE to tell you about, but they will have to wait, all in good time, as they say ;) I have so many more 'Lou Loves This... Dolls' planned, my wee blog has just hit the five thousand hits mark and I also have two, yes two, tutorials on the horizon!!!  I'm a happy girl.... Stay tuned...

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Open for Business...

So... I'm just a wee bit excited right about now.... My Etsy shop is now open! You can have a peek here or click out my ad/linky thingy on the right. It took me hours and hours to complete, I kept procrastinating over everything, and worrying if I had this right or that right, I wanted everything perfect.... I am really happy with the result and I hope you are too!

To celebrate, let me introduce Rita....

Look at her little sailor outfit!! I adored every single minute of stitchin' this little one up, she has a tiny sailor hat ...

...her stripey skirt is trimmed with polka dot binding and a anchor and chain medallion...

...I ran a whipped running stitch around her Mary-Janes to look like some nautical rope and made her a tiny sailor collar.

Actually, as I type this I am reminded of an outfit that my Mum put me in for a wedding when I was, maybe, 10... it was complete with a sailor hat, navy jacket with white sailor collar and white skirt. Go Mum!! I loved that outfit.... I rocked that outfit... That must be where my love of all things nautical comes from!  My nautical pinterest board .

I have much more to report so I promise not to leave it too long 'til my next post. But for now, I must go 'cause a little girl with mint green hair, made of felt and fabric is calling my name ;)

Thanks for dropping by...
Louise x

Sunday, 12 August 2012


I have been verrry productive today,  and since that is not a regular occurrence, I am feeling very self-satisfied... :) I finished an embroidery sampler, I whipped up a cushion, that may end up as a wall hanging (that is for another post), did some photo organisation and even had time to sketch a few ideas that I have had rattling around in my head... all whilst doing my last minute prep for an embroidery workshop that I am teaching tomorrow.... So after I introduce you to Stella, I am hitting the sofa with Mr Cadbury, to watch the Olympic closing ceremony!

Here she is......

Stella is completely hand stitched and stands around 15" tall. I LOVED working on this little girl, she has a teeny tiny rose in her hair, made from lovely dusty rose felt.

I get consumed whilst working on these dolls, stitching wee shoes, adding trim to a ditsy print skirt....

By the way, if anyone wants to know, I get all my felt from The Felt Fairy I just love her felt, in fact I am collecting it lol... she has 70 colours and I have found that the colours she shows in her shop are really very accurate, I always get the colour I am looking for! I get my supplies from her ebay shop but she sells elsewhere, all the links are on her blog, go check her out she is super sweet!

Ok I'm off to watch the closing ceremony, better get my tissues I always cry at these things. ;)

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Stitchin' Marie Antoinette

Ever been to Urban Threads ? If you love embroidery, you will love this site! They supply their patterns in machine and hand embroidery formats and the prices are great, I'm tellin' you, whatever your taste you'll find something you like. It was Bridgeen  who recommended them to me....she knew I'd love it, she was right, she knows my taste :)

Anyways,this is where I got this lovely little pattern.

I have had that flexi frame layin' around for ages, it's alot smaller than what I usually use, it's around 3.5" across, I wanted the stitchery to reflect that, I wanted it be be as delicate as I could get it, so I used just one strand of floss... I wondered what I was getting myself into, but ya know what? The stitches flowed, it was so comfortable to stitch with fine thread! I'm doing that again :)


That's my beautiful Grandmother in the frame.

In other news, ever have one of those days? You know, when EVERYTHING that could possibly go wrong does? I'm having one of them! I wont bore you with the list of disasters that have occured since I awoke this fine morning, but the worst was the fact that my memory card for my camera decided to die on me, I usually clear it quite often so there wasn't too much on it but I got lots of gorgeous pics of the girls work yesterday at the 'Saturday Stitches Club'... gutted...

Ah well! Such is life and all that.... :) To console myself I am staying my pjs and working on this.

Jenny Hart's folk birds from her 'Dutch Russian' pattern.

In my last post I showed you a sneak peek I am still undecided as to whether it should be a cusion or a mini quilt?

I'm taking votes, what do you reckon? Cushion or mini quilt?

Thanks for stopping by...
Louise x